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Lesson Transcript

霊柩車 [れいきゅうしゃ Hearse]
Do you know about 霊柩車? 霊柩車 means "hearse."
In Japan, it's believed that a hearse is a sign of very bad luck. If you see a funeral car passing, you should hide your thumb in your fist.
It's because in Japanese the thumb is called the "parent finger," and protecting it, is like protecting your parents from dying.
In Japan, it is believed that seeing a hearse is bad luck.
茶柱 [ちゃばしら Upright-floating tea stalk]
Do you know about 茶柱? 茶柱 means "upright-floating tea stalk."
In Japan, it's believed that it's a sign of good luck to have a tea stalk floating vertically in your green tea.
It's because in Japanese, an upright-floating tea stalk is called a "pillar of tea," and it's suggestive of the central pillar of a house. Thus, it's seen as a sign to secure peace and prosperity for the family.
Since the first tea leaves of the season are the most popular, it is said that a merchant came up with and spread the idea that an upright floating tea stalk is good luck, in order to sell the second batch of tea leaves.